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7 ways to travel easier as a female

Female solo travel is more popular than ever. Our team reveal their tried-and-tested tips and tricks for a safer experience

7 ways to travel easier as a female
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1 // Don’t be paranoid
Fear can suck the joy out of any travel experience, so rather than fall prey to it, keep yourself open to experience but employ a bit of local savvy. For example, in big US cities people will strike up conversations with you all the time. They love a bit of small talk, so engaging in chat is just part of the landscape. However, in Scandinavian countries, striking up a conversation with a stranger is seen as a bit rude — it would be considered odd, even, to apologise after bumping in to someone, so you don’t need to worry about shutting down any unwanted chat. Jo Fletcher-Cross

2 // Share economy
User reviews on sites and apps like Airbnb and Uber can offer added peace of mind. Getting into a car with a five-star driver and following the route on your phone feels more secure than taking a cab you’ve just flagged down. With accommodation, I always check hosts’ reviews and when travelling solo, only stay with women or couples. Couchsurfing is also great for meeting locals, even if they can’t host you — it’s how I found Atlanta’s best burgers and bar-hopped around Tokyo’s Golden Gai. Nicola Trup

3 // Check in
It’s 3am. My iPhone lights up my room. ‘Tamsin Wressell has requested that you be her Companion. Keep an eye on her as she’s on the move…’ The message is accompanied by a link to Google Maps. It’s showing me a live version of my friend’s walk home. Apps like Companion enable someone else to track your journey for extra peace of mind. (Free on iOS). Josephine Price

4 // Get organised
Look out for pub crawls and tours that include return transport in the ticket price — it’s more fun if you’re not worried about how to get back to the hostel at the end of the night. This was what I did in Budapest while travelling solo around Central Europe. Farida Zeynalova

5 // Walk with purpose
Or in other words, look like you’re familiar with the area, and that you know where you’re going. If I’m lost, I’ll keep this up until I find somewhere where I feel safe enough to stop and check a map — a coffee shop, perhaps, or another place where a number of people are gathered. If you can, separate valuable or important items and keep a little emergency money tucked away somewhere well hidden. Tamsin Wressell

6 // Empower yourself
Fight or flight? Although you may never need to use them, self-defence skills can give you the confidence and tenacity to go it alone. Whether you try Krav Maga, Muay Thai or Taekwondo, you’ll learn dodging techniques, basic blocking and counter-attack moves — all seriously empowering. Stephanie Cavagnaro

7 // Dial SOS
Do you know the local emergency services number? Put it in your phone (or learn how smartphones can autodial and summon help to your GPS marker with a few discreet clicks). But be mindful of where you use it. If in danger, it could be safer to flee for the nearest hotel or busy restaurant than call in the local constabulary, who might not be the best at dealing with a single female traveller. Sarah Barrell

Published in the April 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)